Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Entry 100: Blast From The Past-Part 8

Hello again, and welcome to another installment of "blast from the past." And Hey, it's my 100 ENTRY! How bout that?

Anyway, in this installment I've got some submission pages that I did in 1999. That's right, I'm on part 8 of these posts and I haven't even reached the 2 thousands. I really have to speed this up.

So here we go.
These pages were really exciting for me, because these pages were actually requested by Marvel. I was in the middle of drawing my Wild Cats pages (see blast from the past- part 7) when I got a letter from Marvel in response to my previous submission pages (see blast from the past- part 6). They said that my work looked good. They thought I had a good grasp on story telling and they said some other things that I can't remember. And there was a sample script that they wanted to see what I could do with. This was great! I dropped the Wild Cats thing I was drawing and immediately got to work on the Marvel script. The script was a 6 page Spiderman script that I later found was commonly used by aspiring artists. It's always fun to see how other people have approached this script.

After I finished the Spiderman script and sent it off to Marvel I went back to my Wildcat's pages. Eventually I got a call from Marvel! That's right, a CALL from MARVEL! This was a big deal. The call was from whoever was working as their submissions editor at the time. He asked for a few changes. So I quickly made the changes and mailed him new copies. When he got those he called me and told me that they looked great and that he'd get them in front of all the editors there and that in the mean time, it wouldn't hurt to do some more Marvel submission pages to follow up with. So that's when I did these:

After I sent him the Punisher pages he told me again that he would show them around. I was starting to get the sense that this call from Marvel wasn't exactly the big break I thought it would be. I talked with the Marvel guy a few more times but it really seemed like he wasn't getting anywhere with the editors. And he was being less and less encouraging. I figured I'd continue sending him stuff but really it felt like a dead end.
Around this time (still in 1999) I think I kind of lost interest in creating pages for submitting. Making up a story and then drawing 3 or 4 pages of Punisher or Batman was starting to getting old. I wanted to be creating comics! So I thought I would do something that I wanted to do whether it was submittable or not. So I started working on a short story.
The story was inspired by what I was feeling and going through at the time, but instead of making it about me, I made the character a girl. I did this to help myself avoid making an autobiographical comic. Also, it's more fun to draw girls.

I had only done 3 pages of that story when the San Diego Comic Con rolled around.

It had been 2 years since my first time at the comic con and this time I was way more prepared. I had loads of artwork to bring from all the submissions I'd been doing. So I packed a bunch of it into my portfolio and headed to San Diego.
I worked that convention for all it was worth. I did just about every portfolio review I could find, and it seemed to be going really well. Well, sort of. Everyone was loving my stuff. It was a real confidence booster. The only thing was that nobody seemed to have any work. Everyone I showed my stuff to would say "This stuff is great, what are other people telling you?"
I made a few good contacts that year that eventually led to some things. I'll talk more about those next time, but there was one review I got that didn't lead to anything but was still really memorable. Jay Lee was doing reviews for Marvel. Why? I have no idea, but it was still pretty cool. I had admired his work ever since the Wildcats trilogy he did and particularly liked his Hellshock stuff. He was really complimentary and encouraging. He seemed certain that I'd be getting work at that con. I think the experience of that convention and in particular Jay Lee's comments helped me to not lose heart and keep believing in myself.

I hate to end this on such a sappy note, but that's where I'm ending it.

Actually, I'll leave you with these pages also from that short period just before the Comic Con when I had lost interest in submitting work.


  1. Ha, I did that Spiderman script in 99 as well. Yours are vastly superior to the ones I did.

  2. Wow that really shows just how good and lucky you have to be to get a gig with the big two. I for one really like post like these, keep it up!

  3. Neat work. Love the Punisher stuff; Would love to see your take on Franken-Castle *g*

  4. Haha, I could have guessed that you'd have done the same script. Goes to show, we've been on similar career paths since before are careers got started. I'd be pretty curious to see what you did with that script.

  5. Yeah, timing has a lot to do with breaking into comics. I know some guys who's first submission landed on an editors desk right when that editor was desperate for an artist and they got work. Right out of the gate! Sometimes lucky timing is everything. Unfortunately for me, I was trying to break in when the whole industry was taking a nose dive and editors were very reluctant to give new artists a chance.
    I like these kinds of posts too. And I've got loads more material to keep these posts going for a while.

  6. I haven't been reading the Franken-Castle stuff, but I've heard good things. I don't think I've drawn Punisher since this stuff. I wonder how I would want to approach him now.